Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics

Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics

This new version of the Code of Ethics is a set of statements about appropriate and expected behaviour of early childhood professionals. It reflects current pedagogical research and practice, providing a framework for reflection about the ethical responsibilities of early childhood professionals.
Image of child and mother
Designed especially for early childhood education and care environments, and based on the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1991) this code of ethics has followed a national process of consultation, with the emerging standards indicative of the values we share as early childhood professionals in Australia.

Early Childhood Australia recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been nurturing and teaching children on this land for thousands of years. The Code of Ethics acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional ways of being and caring for children.

Being ethical involves thinking about everyday actions and decision making, either individually or collectively, and responding with respect to all concerned. The Code of Ethics recognises that childhood professionals are in a unique position of trust and influence in their relationships with children, families, colleagues and the community, therefore professional accountability is vital.
This Code is not intended to, and could not possibly provide easy answers, formulae, or prescriptive solutions for the complex issues early childhood professionals face in their work. As an aspirational document, it does provide a basis for critical reflection, a guide for professional behaviour, and principles to inform individual and collective decision-making.

Early childhood professionals have a strong history of advocating on behalf of children and their families. The revised Code of Ethics builds on this tradition by making explicit the ethical responsibility to take action in the face of injustice and when unethical practice occurs.

The Code of Ethics is intended for use by all early childhood professionals who work with or on behalf of children and families in early childhood settings.


Professionals who adhere to this Code of Ethics act in the best interests of all children and work collectively to ensure that every child is thriving and learning.

Code of Ethics publications


Code of Ethics Brochure

The brochure outlines Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics in easy-to-follow point form.

Click here to access a printable version of the Code of Ethics brochure.

Code of Ethics A1 Poster

Sets out the Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics in clear print and is suitable for display on notice boards in childcare centres and early childhood training environments.



To purchase printed copies…

To order printed copies of the Code of Ethics brochures and Code of Ethics A1 posters please visit the ECA shop.